Students in Distress – A Guide for Faculty and Staff

Author: UNBC Wellness Centre Staff

Anytime a student presents a concern to you, there are available supports here at UNBC and in our broader community that may be helpful for you to contact or to refer our students to.  Here is a list of some important resources for you and your students.

ON CAMPUS:

UNBC WELLNESS CENTRE

The UNBC Wellness Centre, through Counselling Services & Health Services, provides professional and general services that support the academic success and personal well-being of students. Our goal is to support registered students to be healthy in both body and mind in order to accomplish their personal and professional goals. We are available for crisis appointments during regular office hours 8:30-4:30pm.

FIRST NATIONS CENTRE

The First Nations Staff at the First Nations Centre aim to make UNBC a home away from home for aboriginal students. The Centre provides personal, academic, and peer support. Counselling services is available to any registered student as well, the Peer Support Network provides a community of caring student volunteers who provide support to other students on campus.

ACCESS RESOURCE CENTRE

The Access Resource Centre is committed to the goal of creating and maintaining physical, intellectual and social access to the University for students with disabilities.  Services can include:

  • Academic accommodation letters
  • Assistive technology and services coordination
  • Time management and study skills development
  • Grant and funding opportunities for eligible students

Students with disabilities who would like to receive access and academic accommodations through the ARC need to self-identify and register with the centre.

INTERFAITH CHAPLAINCY

The chaplaincy at UNBC is a coalition of diverse faith communities offering students, faculty and staff an open door, an open ear, and the challenge to live honestly and thoughtfully.

UNBC PRIDE CENTRE

The mission of the Pride Centre at UNBC is to promote public understanding and acceptance of people of all gender expressions and sexual orientations. The centre fosters and enhances the well-being, unity, and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise queer (LGBTQ) people.

UNBC WOMANS CENTRE

The Northern Women’s Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of women’s lives in the north. We offer workshops, training, volunteer opportunities, and a cool place to hang out! We also maintain a safe space on campus for all women in Prince George 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (if the door is locked, simply contact Security next door).

OFF CAMPUS:

Prince George Crisis Line:  Available 24 hours (250) 565-2668 for crisis calls but as well, you can call this number to find resources in our community that may meet your student’s needs that is not available on campus.

URGENT CONCERNS:

When a student’s behavior poses a threat to self or others, this is considered an URGENT situation. Urgent concerns involve disturbances in thoughts, feelings, or actions that require an immediate response.

Behaviours that would be considered URGENT would include:

  • Suicidal gestures, intentions, or attempt
  • Written or verbal statements that mention despair, suicide, or death
  • Severe hopelessness, depression, isolation, and withdrawal
  • Statements to the effect that the student is “going away for long time”
  • Threats or aggression directed toward others
  • verbal or physical threats, menacing behaviour, and/ or objects that may be used as weapons
  • recent acts of violence, including damage to property
  • recent use of alcohol or drug intoxication
  • paranoia or agitation;
  • incoherent speech or disorientation
  • Demonstrated inability to care for oneself

In the case of suspected child abuse or neglect, there is a duty to report to the Ministry of Child and Family Development at #310-1234.

Taking Care of YOU!

After dealing with a student incident that is urgent, it is important to remember your own possible need for support.  If you are a student at UNBC, you can access Counselling Services to access therapeutic debriefing, or if you are an employee of UNBC, you can contact our Human Solutions at 1-800-663-1142.  Both Services are Confidential.

NON URGENT BUT CONCERNING SITUATIONS: 

Non-urgent concerns involve those situations where students may be distressed but do not require an immediate response. There are warning signs for a possibly distressed student that, when present over time or considered in combination, may suggest a level of distress that is cause for concern. In these circumstances you might observe the following:

  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or loss
  • Depressed or lethargic mood
  • Hyperactivity and /or rapid speech
  • Social Isolation or withdrawal
  • Expressions of severe anxiety or irritability
  • Marked change in appearance, hygiene, sleeping/eating patterns
  • Repeated falling asleep in class
  • Uncharacteristic changes in academic performance
  • Uncharacteristic changes in attendance of class, labs or meetings
  • Requests for special consideration, especially if the student is uncomfortable/
  • unwilling talking about the circumstances
  • New or recurrent behaviour that pushes social limits or interferes with the effective management of your class, work group, etc.
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses
  • Hyperactivity and /or rapid speech
  • Social Isolation or withdrawal
  • Expressions of severe anxiety or irritability
  • Marked change in appearance, hygiene, sleeping/eating patterns
  • Repeated falling asleep in class
  • Uncharacteristic changes in academic performance
  • Uncharacteristic changes in attendance of class, labs or meetings
  • Requests for special consideration, especially if the student is uncomfortable/
  • unwilling talking about the circumstances
  • New or recurrent behaviour that pushes social limits or interferes with the effective management of your class, work group, etc.
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional responses